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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 14, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST

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thanks so much for joining us. fredricka whit filed in for suzanne. >> we'll have political update and much more. >> fabulous wednesday. >> you too. >> hump day. >> that's right. thanks so much. live from studio seven, let's get you up to speed for this wednesday, december 14th. u.s. troops get a message of thanks from their commander in chief as the war in iraq winds down. president obama visits troops at ft. bragg, north carolina later on this hour to thank them for their service and sacrifice. many of them have just returned from iraq. virtually all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of the year. we'll take you there live at around 11:55 a.m. eastern time. the u.s. house is sending a payroll tax cut extension over to the u.s. senate, but it looks like this version of the bill is dead on arrival. house republicans attached unrelated projects to the bill that democrats don't want.
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the cut expires december 31st and without an extension the typical worker will get hit with $1,000 tax increase in the new year. newt gingrich has lost his iowa campaign director. craig bergman has stepped down over some comments he reportedly made about mormons. the des mois register says he called mormonism a cult. two of gingrich's rivals rather in the republican presidential race, mitt romney and jon huntsman are mormons. the faa says starting friday american airlines pilots can use ipads in the cockpit. the devices will replace hard copies of flight manuals and navigation charts. american says cutting out about 50 pounds of paper on every flight will save massive amounts of fuel across the airline. don't worry about distracted pilots. the ipads will not have internet access during flight. a federal safety board is
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calling for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. that means no texting or talking. it's the national transportation safety board's most far-reaching recommendation on cell phones to date. it would be left up to the states to adopt the ban. an afghan woman who was imprisoned for adultry after being raped has been freed. afghan preside afghan president intervened. she was sentenced for 12 years in prison after reporting she had been raped by her cousin's husband two years ago. "time magazine" picks the protester as its 2011 person of the year from the arab spring to the occupy wall street movement. the magazine says protesters are reshaping global politics. the overall commander of the mission that killed osama bin laden came in second on time's list. we have another list to tell you all about.
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the screen actors gild announced its award nominees for the year. in los angeles they listed the best actress in a tv movie or mini series nominees, diane lane, maggie smith, and emily watson are among them. overall the help and french film the artist led with three nominations each. the saga wards will be handed out january 29th. now your chance to talk about. one of the big stories of the day. today we're talking marriage. turns out it's not so popular anymore, at least here in the u.s. carol, why are americans not feeling the love for marriage? >> oh, that is the million question, fredricka. who needs a spouse? turns out not many of us. according to the pew research center just over half of americans are married. that's down from 72% in the 1960s. seems i do is fast becoming i don't, ever. the question is, why?
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>> reporter: kim kardashian. married for 72 days. certainly a sign of how our culture views marriage or is it? we could point to so many examples of how little marriage means. elizabeth taylor was married eight times. god rest her soul, but why did she bother? some conservatives blame gay marriage. that act defined marriage as an act between a man and woman. others say the feminist movement killed i do. who needs a man when a girl can make her own money and buy her own sperm. others blame men who say they never liked marriage much anyway. maybe it's more simple than that. in 2011 maybe we don't need to be married anymore. so the talk back question today, is marriage becoming obsolete? instead of going to my facebook page today since it seems to be down, i don't know what the problem is, please go to suzanne's facebook page.
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that is facebook.com/suzanne.com and answer the question. i'm going to invade suzanne's page until mine gets fixed. >> maybe your page blew up people knowing you were going to be asking this question. there was a deluge on to carol's facebook page. >> my page just went back up. i'm being informed right now. breaking news. >> really? good. now people know where to go. >> facebook.com/carolcnn and i will read some of your responses. >> great. we'll look forward to that. here's a rundown of some of the stories that we're working on. as the war in iraq winds down president obama is visiting troops at ft. bragg, north carolina. we'll have live coverage as the president thanks the troops for their service. then an afghan woman in jail for adultry after she was raped is finally free. we'll hear what she has to say
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about her ordeal. plus if the u.s. congress fails to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed, millions of americans could lose their unemployment checks in just a couple of weeks. remember this arrest photo? actor nick nolte is now laming it wasn't really a mugshot at all. and you probably see it everyday. drivers who are talking or texting and not watching the road. now a move is underway to ban cell phone use behind the wheel. >> do you text and drive? >> yes. i have to confess. >> call with the earpiece. no texting. >> idiots that can't drive are the ones talking on the phone. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement solutions for our military, veterans and their families.
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now to a story that has gained international attention. an afghan woman who was in prison for adultery who has been raped was freed. she was sentenced to 12 years in prison after reporting that she had been raped by her cousin's husband. nick just spoke to her. nick, what did she say? >> reporter: well, she's obviously delight today have been released. officials went to her jail last night after she was issued a pardon done demanding her release. she was taken to a woman's shelter in kabul. we're not revealing the location. she was sat there, little confused. her eight-year-old daughter equally confused and crying quite a little of the time during the interview. she was delighted. clear on two things. there's been a lot of controversy around this about the nature of her assault.
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she was clear now that she was in freedom that she was raped by her cousin's husband. she is absolutely clear that if she had full freedom of choice for her future, she would not miscarriage marry this man. great pressure to absolve her family of the dishonor and she is delighted indeed. >> what about the other forms of pressure that society or culturally might be imposed on her even though she has been freed? >> reporter: well, she still has many issues ahead of her. first of all, how her family reacts to her. there have been suggestions they've been a little distant since she was in jail. the dishonor reflected upon her as well. she is part of one of the more conservative branchs in afghan societiy. there is pressure to marry her attacker. she is in a shelter run by
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experienced people who know how to advise her in the future ahead, but the real issue is where is she going to live in the long term? how is she going to support her daughter? she needs family support. she's delighted at the presidential intervention which has taken her out of jail and perhaps sets a precedent for many other women who are convicted for adultery when what's really happened is they've been sexually assaulted. >> nick, this is unusual that the president would intervene like this. did the president feel like this was at great risk for him and his administration as well or did he feel like simply because of the international exposure it was the right thing to do, something he had to do? >> reporter: fredricka, i think really the president is caught between the conservative party which would like to see this resolved in a very afghan traditional way and, yes, western diplomats who were clear they wanted to see her released and see her case being a new
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benchmarks for women's rights. i think clearly the president decided to make a clear example of what was going to happen to her to have her par doned. the decree makesing no mention she has to marry her attacker. fredricka? >> nick, thanks so much from kabul. meantime, time to check some stories making news across country now. this is what can happen if you get distracted while driving. a miami police officer says he was picking up a pen when his cruiser got stuck on some wires and ended up just like this, upright. the officer is okay, however. you've heard about companies going out of business that are giving away the store, right? well, this is a medical marijuana dispense ri in
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oregonville, california. they're closing their doors friday after holding a free pot party. we're not talking about the dishes here. in new york stunning jewelry worn by actress elizabeth taylor brought in some pretty stunning prices at auction. this necklace sold for $11.8 billion. christie's said it was the highest recorded price ever of pearl jewelry sold at auction. part of the proceeds will go to the elizabeth taylor aids foundation. federal board wants to ban texting and talking on the phone while driving altogether. dozens of states already have these laws and they don't seem to be working. hear why this is happening now. >> yeah, it's a big mess. don't worry. beauty, huh? it's dependable. long-lasting, too. yeah, i could really use this silverado. deer. fish.
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new benefits for the long-term unemployed, but the bill appears to have little chance in the u.s. senate. it cuts maximum benefits from 99 weeks to 59 weeks and if there's no extension, 5 million americans will lose their unemployment check in a couple of weeks. earlier on cnn's "american morning" christine romans looked at the pros and cons of extending these benefits. >> steven, you say that all of these unemployment benefits extensions and 99 weeks of being on jobless checks, it is discouraging to getting work. why? >> well, because you're essentially sending a check to people who aren't working. the condition of getting that check is that they not find a job. so, look, i'm an economist, christine. i do believe incentives matter. when you pay people not to work, you're going to find that they're not going to be as eager to find a job. by the way, that's not just my opinion. the vast majority of the economic evidence shows that,
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that people who are unemployed, christine, they find jobs right about the time where their unemployment insurance runs out. so what i'm saying, i guess, is, look, i don't have a problem with giving people three months or six months or even nine months of benefits if they lose their jobs. this is a tough job market, no question about it. i think you have to ask is two years of benefits too long? my answer to that is yes. >> all right. so, bob, i want to ask you this. unemployment rates is 8.3% now. there's a senior economist who said earlier this year the unemployment rate for men is probably 1.2 percentage points higher because of the fact that they have these extended unemployment benefits. is that evidence that we should get rid of those benefits and then the unemployment rate will fall? >> no, it's not. i do think that extended unemployment benefits has a modest effect on the jobless rate.
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in other words, people do, to some extent, hold off on accepting jobs if they're getting extended benefits, but it's very modest. i would not characterize it as paying people not to work. the point of unemployment benefits is to help out people who are really struggling in an economy that has been atrocious for a long time. so you have to decide on which way the balance should go. >> where does that money go? that money goes right into the economy, right? >> it goes right into the economy. the question that comes, do you want to help these people who are hurting so badly? i would say yes. the u.s. labor department says the average jobless worker gets an unemployment check for 17.5 weeks these days. that's down from recession peak, rather, of 20 weeks back in april of 2010. u.s. government is giving up on getting americans to use $$1 coins. it's stopping that production. vice president joe biden says the u.s. mint makes hundreds of millions of the coins but no one wants them.
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he says almost 1.5 billion are sitting in vaumts. the move will save $50 million a year. it may be the most famous mugshot in history. nick nolte's picture. it's inspired halloween costumes and given plenty of material to the late night comedians. now he claims his arrest photo wasn't a mug shot after all. jeanne moos explains. >> reporter: it is the mona lisa of mug shots. enshrined on t-shirts. ridiculed in song, imitated. >> put your hair like this, nick. >> reporter: worn as a halloween costume as seen here in "people." someone even put it on his credit card. almost a decade after its release letterman still making jokes about nick nolte about how the u.s. didn't release a death photo of osama bin laden. >> the white house released this instead. take a look at that.
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>> reporter: the mug shot con know source at the smoking gun. >> it's the best celebrity mug shot taken. >> reporter: now nolte is taking. he's saying a mug shot it is not. in an interview with gq magazine he says he was high on a drug called liquid he can at that si when he swerved off the pacific coast highway. at the hospital where he was taken for a blood test a young officer asked him if he could take a polaroid. i said, come on, you don't really want to ask that, do you? but he did. nolte made him agree that if he posed the young officer would share any proceeds with his colleagues. and i let him shoot the polaroid. the rest is history. it's the gold standard against which mothers compare their baby's hair. >> which reminds me a lot of nick nolte mug shot hair. >> he was 1992s sexiest man and look at him now, still sexy. >> reporter: one guy posted that on his local tv weather forecast
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when we are expecting heavy wind this picture is what they use for a bad hair day. but police may be tearing out their hair because the california highway patrol spokesman who originally released this picture says, it is a mug shot. one of several that they took. not a polaroid taken at the hospital. >> maybe that's how he perceived it on the drug. maybe they were saying please stand here for the picture. here's another fan who wants a picture. >> reporter: makes you think everybody is a fan. >> who doesn't want my picture. >> reporter: mel gibson has reportedly said that he made sure his hair was groomed in his mug shot so he wouldn't end up like nolte. the moral of the mug shot or whatever it was, comb your hair. >> at least this kid wasn't wearing a hawaiian shirt. and president barak obama is marking the end of the iraq war with a visit to u.s. troops.
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he is going to be here, along with the first lady, are going to be in frort brag, north carolina. air force one right now landing. the president and the first lady will be emerging. they'll be making their way to visit with the troops at ft. bragg to say thank you for their service and sacrifice. this, as the u.s. wraps up its deployment in iraq. the goal set by the president of the united states that all would be out of iraq by december 31st. all week long there have been a number of images of troops reuniting with their families all across the nation. it continues. this as the president makes his arrival at ft. bragg. we'll have live coverage of the president's visit with the troops at ft. bragg. roughly maybe about 35 minutes or so from now when he actually is to begin his speaking. a bluetooth connection. a stolen vehicle locator.
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live pictures one more time of the air force one arriving at ft. bragg, north carolina. the president and first lady plan to meet and talk with the troops and the families there at ft. bragg to thank them for their service and sacrifice. the president making these comments as the u.s. draws down its u.s. troop deployment in iraq just under about two weeks away before meeting that deadline of december 31st. the president has pledged that while u.s. troops in large numbers will no longer be in iraq, the u.s. will continue in its support of what will be a volatile building -- rebuilding of that nation. this ft. bragg, north carolina,
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base has certainly seen its share of sacrifices. some 200 deaths of u.s. troops based at ft. bragg have taken place over this nine-year war in iraq. so the president and first lady are hoping to be able to offer some comfort as well as encouragement to the troops, the service members and their families here at ft. bragg. in about 30 minutes or so after the president and first lady emerge there from air force one and make their way to the building in which the speeches will take place and the greetings will take place, there you go. live pictures there. what appears to be a hanger there at ft. bragg. a number of the troops will get a chance to see firsthand and listen firsthand to the president's remarks. his ongoing commitment that he'll spell out to the u.s. troops, families, and as well as to the country of iraq which will continue to rebuild at the close of this war.
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we'll monitor the remarks and the movement there at ft. bragg. all right. let's just admit it. most of you have made a call or sent a text message while driving. we take our eyes off the road for a few seconds, even longer, it's just fate that you don't hit someone. now the national transportation safety board wants to ban using cell phones while driving altogether. texting, calling, all of it. watch this antitexting campaign that at&t launched last year after some high profile deadly accidents. >> the first thing i noticed about her was her shoes. lying in the roadway in a large pool of blood, i noticed her shoes. i thought, this is a young girl. that's the first thing i thought when i saw this. and at that point is when i noticed her cap and gown was still in her car. she was going to graduate the next day. it was just a really horrific
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scene, all because of sentences a senseless text message. >> so why is the ntsb making this recommendation now? cnn's christine romans spoke with ntsb spokesman debby hers man about that. >> distractions have been around as long as the model t has been around. this is a new type of distraction. we're seeing people bringing more and more electronic devices into the car. there's devices that are in the car as part of their info tanment and they really are creating more distractions. we're seeing more people texting behind the wheel and people being distracted by the cognitive conversations that they're having with people where it's taking their attention away from the driving task. >> has the research shown talking to someone sitting next to you in the car is different than talking to someone on the phone who's not in the car? >> it is. the person who's sitting next to you in the car, think of them as a co-pilot. they know what's going on in the environment. they're aware of the traffic, aware of stops, aware of
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situations that might become complicated. they don't always expect you to respond when you're dealing with a complicated merge situation, but the person on the other end of the phone, they aren't helping you and they don't know that. >> some state lawmakers, debby, have come out against this. state senator in georgia said that lawmakers there would oppose it. he said it's government pushing its nose too far into people's lives. how do you respond to those critics who say this is big brother trying to fix a bad habit with a new law? >> what we do in our business is we investigate accidents, we learn from them, we make recommendations. i know that this isn't the popular thing, but it is the safe thing. it's the right thing to do. we fully respect that everyone else has different views about this, but no call, no text, no post is worth a human life. >> there are those who are e-mailing me saying this is like the old days when you thought it was sacrilege to say you can
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only drive 55 miles an hour. this is a rule that ended up saving lives. >> the same thing with drunk driving, with putting your children in child restraints, with wearing your seat belt or even smoking. these are all things that were societal norms that it took some time to change. here's what's ahead on the rundown. next, president obama speaks directly to u.s. troops thanking them for their service in iraq. we'll bring you those remarks live. and then thousands of u.s. troops are heading home, but will they have jobs when they get here? and a new survey finds more and more people are saying, i don't when it comes to marriage. we'll give you a chance to talk back and tell us what you think. that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru and $250 goes to your choice of 5 charities.
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live pictures right now, ft. bragg, north carolina. the president and first lady arriving. in about 25 minutes or so from now president obama will be going to what appeared to be a big hanger filled with u.s. troops there. he will apparently be giving thanks as they wrap up a nine-year war in iraq. he'll also be reiterating a commitment that he has made to help veterans find jobs and be sure to get -- that they get all the resources they need as they are re-integrating following their tour of duty in iraq. the president making it his goal
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that all troops will be out of iraq by december 31st. you've been seeing for the past week or so and into this week constant reunions of troops with their families back on u.s. soil. we'll be bringing you the president's comments live roughly 22 or so minutes from now. a war that lasted almost nine years and spanned two presidencies is winding down. that assurance being made by the president there. he's in ft. bragg, north carolina, to mark the end of the war thanking the troops for their service and sacrifice. for many, the sacrifice started in march of 2003. >> my fellow citizens, at this hour american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger. >> so with those words from then president george w. bush the war in iraq was underway.
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the initial invasion that toppled saddam hussein was followed by years of insurgency and sec taryn violence. january of 2007 the u.s. began a troop surge to combat the rising violence there. during that same year candidate obama was promising to end the war. >> we will bring our troops home. it is time to bring this war to a close. it is time to recognize there's no military solution to the problems in iraq. it is time to turn the page. >> reporter: in november of 2008 president bush and the iraqi parliament negotiated a time line calling for u.s. troops to withdraw by the end of 2011. the u.s. had planned to leave several thousand troops in iraq to help with training and security, but the terms of that agreement fell apart. in october this year president obama announced that the u.s. would complete its withdrawal by the end of this year. so in his speech at ft. bragg
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the white house says president obama will talk about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in iraq to an end. he is scheduled to speak at around 11:55 a.m. eastern time. we'll bring you those remarks live. live pictures right now of what appears to be a big hanger where a number of the troops will be hearing the president and seeing him firsthand. right now let's bring in some experts now to talk about what has or has not been accomplished in iraq. the political implications from it. cnn chief political analyst gloria boring ger and david gergen. good to see both of you. first let's talk about the accomplishments or the lessons learned. what are some of those accomplishments, gloria? >> reporter: well, i think you could say that there is a more stable iraq, that there's a more democratic iraq, but i don't think you're going to see this president march on this stage with a mission accomplished
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banner. i think the lessons learned are what's really, really telling here and that is that it's easier to go in somewhere with the american military than it is to get out. so when you talk about nation building and all that that requires, you have to understand, and i think this is something that we've all learned, that once you're in, you can't just turn around and leave, that nation building requires an awful lot of manpower, an awful lot of blood, and an awful lot of money. go ahead. >> i was going to say, we're going to talk a little bit more about that nation building. david, what do you see as the accomplishments from this war? >> reporter: i think we have a more hopeful future in iraq. a dictator who murdered tens of thousands of people is now gone. yes, there's continuing violence, but at a much, much lower level.
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there's promise that iraq could become a more democratic society. i don't think we should assume, i think gloria is right, the president is not going to be dancing today because there are a lot of shadows over iraq's future. by the way, the american presence about our combat troops coming out, we'll maintain an enormous presence there. we're building a complex there, our diplomatic complex there is going to be on 104 acres, 22 buildings. we're going to have over 10,000 americans, half diplomats, half contractors, many who are security forces, paramilitary. we'll have 40,000 troops in the area nearby. we are avenue not necessarily leaving iraq, but this is an important milestone to have combat troops come out. >> diplomats, contractors, yes, indeed will be there to try to stay the course or help the u.s. and iraq kind of stay the course on what it believes to be the best approach for that nation
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rebuilding but, gloria, back to that point that you were making on that commitment to rebuild. did this white house feel like it got some real assurances from prime minister nuri al-maliki earlier in the week when they met that indeed once u.s. troops do pull out that iraq will continue on what that agreed-upon course for rebuilding is? >> reporter: look. the relationship with mall a can i has never been easy. there's been lots of mistrust both ways. what they've agreed is that in fact there will be no residual military force there, and that's because the united states could not get an agreement to provide those forces with immunity. that was a problem for the united states. are we selling them a fleet of f 16s, yes, we are. are we going to have what david is talking about, a large complex there?
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yes, we are. are we going to continue a diplomatic -- important diplomatic relationship with iraq? of course. that's going to be very important and that's what both of these men pledged to do this week. again, it's still not an easy relationship. >> so, david, americans are feeling pretty confident or convinced that december 31st the majority, if not all, of u.s. troops are going to be gone from iraq, but are there still pretty good chances or opportunities that some u.s. troops may find themselves deployed to iraq to assist or to help out in continued security strug unless that nation or anything else? >> well, that's the jackpot question. that's the reason why american military commanders wanted to keep a larger military presence on the ground, because they didn't think the iraqi army was quite ready yet. they're going to be re-emerging
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tensions between sunys and shy as. a question whether iran has an overly large influence. iraq hasn't been following our diplomatic lead necessarily when it comes to dealing with siri a. we're going to have some tensions and difficulties. iraq may well be on the course interestingly enough to sort of breaking up some and becoming more of a federation of exactly the same kind of thing joe biden was calling for or thought should be the outcome some time ago. let me go back to the size of our presence. you've been to rome. you see what a massive structure the vatican is and what a massive presence it is in rome. this new complex we're building in iraq is expected to be larger than the vatican. >> huge. okay. so this commitment to end this war 2011 was made by the bush administration. it was made again by the obama
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administration. gloria, who gets credit for this? is it a shared accomplishment by these administrations? >> reporter: i don't think anybody gets credit in particular because americans are completely divided down the middle about whether we were successful in any way, shape, or form in iraq. it's been such say long-standing war, nine years, that at this point americans just want to leave. i think barak obama gets a certain amount of credit from his democratic base, which he needs to get re-elected, for saying look, i made this pledge to you when i ran in 2008 and i'm keeping t. as you pointed out in your piece earlier, this is also a time line that was established by president bush. i don't think the american public is sort of going to say this goes to bush or this goes to obama. they just want out. >> okay. gloria, david, thanks so much. we're going to talk with you again after we begin to hear from the president in roughly
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about 10 minutes or so, 12 minutes away from the president entering that hanger. a little meet and greet with the troops who are waiting. then we'll hear from the president. we'll talk again about some of the remarks that he is expected to make. meantime, we're going to be also check wg joe johns who's going to give us an idea of what's on the political ticker. joe biden is defending mitt romney. what's going on? we'll find out.
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forty years ago, he wasn't worried about retirement. he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement solutions for our military, veterans and their families. from investments... to life insurance... to health care options. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa.
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with thousands of american troops packing up and leaving iraq, a lot of them will be looking for jobs. president obama will be speaking to troops at ft. bragg, north carolina, in just about maybe five or ten minutes from now. he has already put in place tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans. alison kosik is with us now from the new york stock exchange. alison, just how serious is the jobless rate, particularly among veterans? >> yeah, this is serious, fredricka, because it's higher than the national unemployment rate by a long shot. you look at the latest labor department figures from november. they show that the jobless rate for iraq and afghanistan vets is
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just over 11%. that amounts to about 220,000 vets who are out of work. in most cases federal laws, they're supposed to make sure that military members get their old positions back when their tours of duty are over. we're seeing there are some exceptions here. not everybody is kwaully filing to return to those jobs. the way the economy has been, some vets' old jobs, their companies altogether have gone belly up while they've been overseas. some service members are deemed no longer qualified to perform their job. it can make for an even tougher transition back into civilian life. >> remind us what the tax breaks are for businesses that do extend jobs to vets? >> after president obama last month called the jobless rate among veterans unacceptable, what he did was institute the returning heroes tax credit as part of the american jobs abt. what it does is it offers up to
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$2400 to businesses who hire back veterans. they get up to $5600 for hiring veterans who haven't had a job for six months. finally businesses can get a tax credit for up to $9600 for hiring a service vet with a disability. he signed into law other reforms including education, training, job search assistance. it's all an effort to help those men and women who have done so much for the country. >> thanks so much, alison kosik. time to talk politics. one of our favorite subjects here at cnn. joe johns is life from the political desk in washington. joe, let's talk about ron paul. he's closing the gap in iowa. what's happening there? >> i tell you, this is american research group poll. there's a whole bunch of story lines in it. 22% of likely republican caucus goers in iowa say they are, you
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know, supporting house speaker newt gingrich. that's one story line. 17% say they support mitt romney. 17% say they support ron paul. so, yes, that would put mitt romney and ron paul tied. a lot of people have said, well, yeah. i can see ron paul doing pretty well out there for a variety of reasons. texas governor rick perry at 13% which would mean he's picked up about 8 percentage points in this poll. he's been pushing hard out there, running a lot of tv ads and so on. probably one of the things you want to watch most in this poll, just one poll, just one snapshot, newt gingrich has dropped about 4 or 5 points. he was at 27% in the november poll and we do know that mitt romney's been going hard after gingrich's negatives, but other polls aren't showing this drop in gingrich support. 's sort of hovered low 30s, mid 20s depending on which poll you look at. we have to take a long look and
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see if it's a trend or an outliar poll, if you will. >> i'm sure his staffers are trying to figure out the meaning behind those numbers as well. joe johns, thanks so much. for news, you know exactly where to go, cnnpolitics.com. president barack obama about to say his thank yous to the u.s. troops as the war in iraq winds down. he's actually being introduced d and, of course, right on cue, the rousing applause for the commander in chief.
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as you can see, they're all w t waiting, cameras ready, smartphones poised for the perfect picture upon the president's arrival. you saw his advance crew coming in with the scripts, putting on the podium and secret service getting into place. now, if only the president and first lady would arrive. when they do, momentarily, the president is expected to thank the troops there for their service, for their sacrifice, ft. bragg getting hit pretty hard during the nine year war in iraq, losing 200-roughly 200 troops from ft. bragg during this war. the president will be arriving. let's listen. maybe they've got some
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instructi instructio instruction. >> ladies and gentlemen -- >> there we go. >> the president of the united states and mrs. obama. >> hello, everyone! i get to start you all off. i want to begin by thanking
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general anderson for that introduction, but more importantly for his leadership here at ft. bragg. i can't tell you what a pleasure and an honor it is to be back here. i have so many wonderful memories of this place. a couple of years ago, i came here on my very first official trip as first lady. i spent some -- a great time with some of the amazing military spouses and i visited again this summer, to help put on the finishing touches on an amazing new home for a veteran and her family. so when i heard i had the opportunity to come back and be a part of welcoming you all home, to say i was excited was an understatement. i have to tell you that when i look out at this crowd, i am simply overwhelmed.
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i am overwhelmed and proud because i know the level of strength and commitment that you all display every single day. when ever this country calls, you all are the ones who answer, no mather si, no mather danger, no matter the sacrifice. i know that you do this not just as soldiers, not just as patriots, but as fathers and mothers, as brothers and sister, as sons and daughters. i know that while your children and your spouses and your parents and siblings might not wear uniforms, they serve right alongside you.
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i know that your sacrifice is their sacrifice, too. so when i think of all that you do and all that your families do, i am so proud and so gratef grateful. but more importantly, i'm inspired. but like so many americans, i never feel like i can fully convey just how thankful i am. because words just don't seem to be enough. and that's why i have been work something hard, along with jill biden on a campaign that we call joining forces. it's a campaign that we hope goes beyond words. it's a campaign that is about action. it's about rallying all americans to give you the honor, the appreciation and the support that you have all earned.
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and i don't have to tell you that this hasn't been a difficult campaign. we haven't had to do much convin convincing because americans have been lining up to show their appreciation for you and your families ain very concrete and meaningful ways. businesses are hiring tens of thousands of veterans and military spouses. schools all across the country and ptas are reaching out to our military children. individuals are serving their neighbors and their communities all over this country in your honor. so i want you to know that this nation's support doesn't end as this war ends, not by a long shot. we're going to keep on doing this. we have so much more work to do. we're going to keep finding new ways to serve all of you as well as you have served us.
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and the man leading the way is standing right here. he is fighting for you and your families every single day. he's helped more than half a million veterans and military family members go to college through the post 9/11 g.i. bill. he's taken unprecedented steps to improve mental health care. he's cut taxes for businesses that hire a veteran or wounded warrior. and he has kept his promise to responsibly bring you home from iraq. so please join me in welcoming someone who's your strongest advocate, someone who shows his support for a military not only in words but in deeds, my husband, our president and your
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commander in chief, barack obam obama. >> hello, everybody! hello ft. bragg. all the way! now, i'm sure you realize why i don't like following michelle obama. she's pretty good. and it is true i am a little biased, but let me just say it, michelle, you are a remarkable first lady. you are a great advocate for military families. and you're cute. i'm just saying.
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gentlemen, that's your goal, to marry up. punch above your weight. ft. bragg, we're here to mark an historic moment in the life of our country and our military. for nearly nine years, our nation has been at war in iraq. and you, the incredible men and women of ft. bragg, have been there every step of the way, serving with honor, sacrificing greatly, from the first waves of the invasion to some of the last troops to come home. so as your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, i'm proud to finally say these two words, and i know your families agree, welcome home.
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welcome home. welcome home. it is great to be here at ft. bragg, home of the airborne and special operations forces. i want to thank general anderson and all your outstanding leaders for welcoming us here today including general dave rodriquez, general john mulholland. i want to give a shout-out to your outstanding senior enlisted leaders, including command sergeant major roger howard, darren bond, perry bear and give a big round of applause to the ground forces band.
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we've got a lot of folks in the house today. we have the 18th airborne corps, the sky dragons. the legendary all american 82nd airborne division. we have america a's quiet professionals, our special operations forces. from polk field, we've got air force. i do believe we've got some navy and marine corps here, too. >> yeah! >> and though they're not here with us today, we send our thoughts and prayers to general helm helmut, sergeant rice and all the folks from 18th airborne
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bringing our troops back from iraq. we honor everyone from the 82nd airborne and bragg succeeding in afghanistan and general vogel and those serving around the world. let me just say one of the most humbling moments i've had as president was when i presented our nation's highest military decoration, the medal of honor, to the parents of one of those patriots from ft. bragg, who gave his life in afghanistan, staff sergeant robert miller. i want to salute jenny rodriquez and miriam mulholland, linda anderson, melissa helmut, whi l
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michelle vo tell atel and all t inspiring military families today. we honor your service as well. finally, i want to acable your neighbors and friends who help keep your -- this outstanding operation going, all who helped to keep you army strong. that includes representatives mike mcintyre and dave price and heath shuler and governor bev ber d purdue. i know bev is proud to have done so much for our military family, give them a big round of applause. today, i've come to speak to you about the end of the war in iraq. over the last few months, the
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final work of leaving iraq has been done. dozens of bases with american names that housed thousands of american troops have been closed down or turned over to the iraq iraqis. thousands of tons of equipment have been packed up and shipped o out. tomorrow, the colors of united states forces arrive. the colors you fought under will be formally cased in a ceremony in baghdad. then they'll begin their journey across an ocean back home. over the last three years, nearly 150,000 u.s. troops have left iraq. an over the next few days, a small group of american soldiers will begin the final march out of that country. some of them are on their way
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back to ft. bragg. as the general said, they know that the last tactical road march out of iraq will be a symbol and they're going to be a part of history. >> as your commander in chief, i can tell you it will indeed be part of history. those last commander and troops will be out of the desert sands and cross the border of iraq with their heads held high. one of the most whistler chapters in history of the american military will come to an end. iraq's future will be in the hands of its people. america's war in iraq will be over. we knew this day would come. we've known it for some time.
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but, still, there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long. nine years ago, american troops were preparing to deploy to the persian gulf and the possibility that they would be sent to war. many of you were in grade school. i was a state senator. many of the leaders how governing iraq, including the prime minister, were living in exile. since then, our efforts in iraq have taken many twist s and turns. it was a source of great controversy here at home with patriots on both sides of the debate. there was one constant. there was one constant, your
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pateti pateti patriotism, your commitment to fulfill your mission, your abiding commitment to one another, that was constant. that did not change, that did not waiver. it's harder to end a war than begin one. indeed, everything that american troops have done in iraq, all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building and the training and the partnering, all of it has led to this moment of success. iraq's not a perfect place. it has many challenges ahead. but we're leaving behind a sovereign stable and self-reliant iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people.
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we're building a new partnership between our nations and we are ending a war, not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home. this is an extraordinary achievement! near nearly nine years in the making. today, we remember everything that you did to make it possible. we remember the early days, the american units that streaked across the sands and skies of iraq. the battles from karbala to baghdad, american troops breaking the back of a brutal dictator in less than a month. we remember the grind of the insurgency, sniper bonds and suicide attacks, from the triang "triangle of death" to the fight for ramadi, from mosul in the
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north to basel in the south. your will remains stronger than the terror of those who tried to break it. we remember the specter of sectarian violence, al qaeda's attacks on mosques and pilgrims. militias that carried out campaigns of intimidation and campaigns of assassination. in the face of ancient divisions, you stood firm to help those iraqis who put their faith in the future. we remember the surge and we remember the awakening, when the abyss of chaos turned toward the promise of reconciliation. by battling and building block by block in baghdad, by bringing tribes into the fold and partnering with the iraqi army and police, you helped turn the tide toward peace.
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we remember the end of our combat mission. the emergence of a new dawn. the precision of our efforts against al qaeda and iraq. the professionalism, the training of iraqi security forces. the steady drawdown of our forces. in handing over responsibility to the iraqis, you preserved the gains of the last four years and made this day possible. just last month, some of you, members of the falcon brigade turned over the anbar operation sent her to iraqis in the type of ceremony that has become common place over these last several months in an area once the heart of the insurgency, a combination of fighting and training, politics and partnership brought the promise of peace. here's what the local iraqi
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deputy governor said. this is all because of the u.s. forces' hard work and sacrifice. that's in the words of an iraqi. hard work and sacrifice. those words only begin to describe the costs of this war. and the courage of the men and women who fought. it we know too well the heavy costs of this war. more than 1.5 million americans have served in iraq. 1.5 million. over 30,000 americans have been wounded. those are only the wounds that show. nearly 4500 americans made the
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ultimate sacrifice. including 202 fallen heroes from here at ft. bragg. 202. today, we pause to say a prayer for all those families who have lost their loved ones, for they are part of our broader american family. we grieve with them. we also know these numbers don't tell the full story of the iraq war, not even close. our civilians have represented our country with skill and bravery. our troops have served tour after tour of duty with precious little dwell time in between. our guard and reserve units stepped up with unprecedented service. you have endured dangerous foot patr patrols and you've endured the
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pain of seeing your friends and comrades fall. you've had to be more than soldier, sailor, airmen, marine and coast guards men. you had to be diplomats, development workers, trainers and peace makers. through all this, you have shown why the united states military is the finest fighting force in this history of the world. as michelle mentioned, we also know that the burden of war is borne by your families. in countless base communities like bragg, folks have come together in the absence of a loved one. as the mayor of fayetteville put
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it, war is not a political word here, war is where our friends and neighbors go. there have been missed birthday parties and graduations. there are bills to pay and jobs that have to be juggled, while picking up the kids. for every soldier that goes on patrol, there are the husband, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, praying that they come back. so today, as we mark the end of the war, let us acknowledge, let us give a heartfelt round of applause for every military family that has carried that load over the last nine years. you, too, have the thanks of a grateful facing. a grateful nation. pa
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part of ending a war responsibly is standing by those who fought it. it's not enough to honor you with words. words are cheap. we must do it with deeds you stood up for america. america needs to stand up for you. that's why as your commander in chief, i am committed to making sure you get the care and benefits and opportunities you've earned. for those of you who remain in uniform, we will do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our force, including your
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families. we will keep faith with you. we will help our wounded warriors heal. we will stand by those who have suffered the unseen wounds of war. and make no mistake, as we go forward as a nation, we will keep american armed forces the strongest fighting force the world has ever seen. that will not stop. that will not stop. but our commitment doesn't end when you take off the uniform. you're the finest our nation has to offer. after years of rebuilding iraq, we want to enlist our veterans in the work of rebuilding america. that's why we're committed to doing everything we can to extend more opportunities to
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those who have served. that includes the post 9/11 g.i. bill, so that you and your families can get the education that allows you to live out your dreams. that includes a national effort to put our veterans to work. we've worked with congress to pass a tax credit so companies had the incentive to hire vets. michelle has worked with the private sector to get commitments to create 100,000 jobs for those who served. by the way, we're doing this not just because it's the right thing to do by you, we're doing it because it's the right thing to do for america. folks like my grandfather came back from world war 2 to form the backbone of this country's middle class. m for our post 9/11 veterans, with your skill, with your discipline, with your leadership, i am confident that the story of your service to
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america is just beginning. there's something else that we owe you. as americans, we have a responsibility to learn from your service. i'm thinking an example, lieutenant alvin shell, who was based here at ft. bragg. a few years ago, on a supply route outside baghdad, he and his team were engulfed by flames from an rpg attack. covered with gasoline, he ran into the fire to help his fellow soldiers and then led them two miles back to camp victory, where he finally collapsed, covered with burns.
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when they told him he was a hero, alvin disagreed. i'm not a hero, he said. a hero is a sandwich. i'm a paratrooper. we could do well to learn from alvin. this country needs to learn from you. folks in washington need to learn from you. policymakers and historians will continue to analyze the strategic lessons of iraq, that's important to do. our commanders will incorporate the hard won lesson into future military campaigns. that's important to do. the most important lesson we can take from you is not about military strategy. it's a lesson about our national
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character. for all of the challenges that our nation faces, you remind us that there is nothing we americans can't do when we stick togeth together. for all the disagreements that we face, you remind us there's something bigger than our differences, something that makes us one nation and one peop people, regardless of color, regardless of creed, regardless what part of the country we come fr from, regardless of what backgrounds we come out of, you remind us we're one nation. that's why the united states military is the most respected institution in our land because
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you never forget that. you can't afford to forget. it if you forget it, somebody dies. if you forget it, amation fails. so you don't forget it. you have each other's backs. that's why you, the 9/11 generation, has earned your place in history. because of you, because you sacrificed so much for a people that you had never met, rehabilitation have a chance to forge their own destiny that's part of what make us special as americans, unlike the old empires, we don't make these sacrifices for territory or for resourc resources. we do it because it's right.
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there can be no fuller expression for america's support of self-determination than our leaving iraq to its people. that says something about who we are. because of you in afghanistan, we've broken the momentum of the taliban. because of you, we've begun to transition to afghans that will allow us to bring our troops home from there. around the globe, as we drawdown in iraq, we have gone after al qaeda so terrorists who threaten america will have no safe haven and osama bin laden will never again walk the face of this earth. so here's what i want you to know and here's what i want all our men and women in uniform to know. because of you, we are ending
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these wars in a way that will make america stronger and the world more secure. because of you. that success was never guaranteed. let us never forget the source of american leadership. our commitment to the values that are written into our founding documents and a unique willingness among nations to pay a great price for the progress of human freedom and dignity. this is who we are. that's what we do as americans. together. the war in iraq will soon belong to history. your service belongs to the ages. never forget that you are part
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of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries, from the colonists who overthrew an empire to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you. men and women who fought for the same principles in fallujah and kandahar and justice for those who attacked us on 9/11, looking back on the war that saved our uni union, great american, oliver wendell homes once paid tribute to those who served. in our youth, he said, our hearts were touched with fire. it was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. all of you here today have lived
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through the fires of war. you will be remembered for it. you will be honored for it. always. you have done something profound with your lives. when this nation went to war, you signed up to serve. when times were tough, you kept fighting. when there was no end in sight, you found light in the darkness. years from now, your legacy will endure in the names of your fallen comrades, etched on headstones at arlington and the quiet memorials across our country. in the whisper of words of admiration as you march in parades and in the freedom of our children and our grandchildr grandchildren, and in the quiet of night, you will recall that your heart was once touched by fire.
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you will know you answered when your country called. you served a cause greater than yourselves. you helped forge a just and lasting peace with iraq and among all nations. i could not be prouder of you and america could not be prouder of you. god bless you all. god bless your families and god bless the united states of america. >> the president of the united states at ft. bragg, north carolina, giving a big thank you to troops there and also a big welcome home as the war in iraq draws down to that deadline of december 31st. reiterating a commitment to help u.s. troops reinty great with all the resources available, with all the benefits available. he credited troops with helping to quote turn the tide toward peace in iraq. we have our team coverage.
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we have gloria borger and david gergen joining us with some analysis. we also have our david mattingly, who was right there in ft. bragg. david, rousing applause coming from the troops there, glad to see the president there. but i wonder, too, if they have kind of mixed feelings about this welcoming home since some 200 troops were killed in the war in iraq, who all hailed from ft. bragg. >> that's right. fredericka, i had a chance to talk to quite a few veterans of iraq prior to the president's arrival here at ft. bragg. they were telling me, there were two main questions on their mind. they wanted to know if the president really understood the sacrifices that were made while they were there in iraq, not just by them but by their families. another question they had, now that we have served our country, how will our country be serving us and our needs as the years go
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on? they seemed to get answers to both of those questions, the president going into great detail about the sacrifices made and dangers soldiers faced while over there on the ground in iraq and accomplishments they were able to make while they were there over the past eight years or so. what they also heard, probably something hitting very much home more immediately right now, they are coming home right now at a time when there is a great deal of uncertainty about budget cuts in the military and things like that. they're very worried about their continued benefits, about their continued access to health care, to counseling, to help them with all sorts of problems they might be coming home with. the president very specifically said, you stood up for america and now america will stand up for you, answering that question ver directly. those two main questions, it appears president obama has answered those questions here at ft. bragg. >> david mattingly, thanks so much from ft. bragg there.
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gloria borger and david gergen listening intently to those remarks. a few things stand out. the president saying iraq is not a perfect place but america is leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant iraq. this had to have been a difficult thing for the president to say because as u.s. senator, he did not endorse this war in iraq. now, he had to certainly say, these are the great things that came from the u.s. involvement in iraq. why was that necessary for this commander in chief to spell it out that way? >> well, i think that wihile he did oppose the war, he won the presidency or nomination of the democratic party in large part because of his opposition to the war in iraq. i think he as president has embraced the goal george w. bush set, which was to withdraw now. i think he feels proud of the way he has done it. he's got reason to feel proud. i must say today his speech was
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a gracious healing speech, one of the best of his presidency, one where he revived memories of the obama of old because he played a unifying role as commander in chief. he reached out to everyone. did not find, as david mattingly found, reassurance about the pentagon budget. he said, we're going to stand with you but i didn't feel that meant he was going to defend the pentagon against a lot of cuts that may be just over the horizon. overall, it was a very very gracious healing speech and a good one. >> gloria, how did you see it? >> i really felt the same way. the president came to ft. bragg to pay homage to the troops and to their successes and to their great achievement in bringing this to a close. he said we're ending it not with a final battle but with a final march toward home. he made it very clear, look, this was controversial and we
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don't leave iraq as a perfect place. i think he sort of set a realistic tone here, but he wanted these troops to understand that americans value their service and will continue to stand with them. i think it's also important to say that the first lady here has essentially devoted a large chunk of her time, her mission as first lady is to be serving military families. this is sort of a theme that she's carried on since the president took office. so today, you know, he didn't go there with a banner, but he went there to say thank you. >> the first lady underscoring her quote with this nation doesn't end as the war ends. david gergen, gloria, thank you for your analysis. we will leave you with these pictures of the president and first lady there. handshakes and greetings, lots of smiles to the u.s. troops at
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ft. bragg. much more from the "newsroom" after this. (rambling phone conversation)
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the investigation of the alleged hazing incident that led to the death of a drummer, george howell, just back from spending time at a&m. >> there is a brand new investigation, this time through the fdle, the florida department of law enforcement, the group basically overseeing this investigation into robert champion's death, the drum major who died on november 19th from alleged hazing. the fdl ebay sickly says through the course of their investigation, they came across what they believe to be financial fraud by an employee at famu. they can't get into specifics, clearly an ongoing investigation, du to financial irregularity this is a came across during the investigation. a brand new investigation at famu into one of its employees. >> that being linked -- that
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investigation being linked to the investigation of the death of the one student and the possible other investigating involving hazing incidents? >> very interesting. i was able to confirm through gerald baylor, the commissioner for the fdle, says because of the investigation into robert champion, they came across this new information about financial irregularities and now launched another investigation independent of robert champion. keep in mind the case of rhea hunter, also out there. we saw three people arrested in that case. so, really, you have three separate situations. cases with famu at this point. >> incredible. thanks so much, appreciate that. your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. today, we're actually talking about marriage. turns out it's not so popular anymore, at least here in the u.s.
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carol costello joins me now from new york. americans are not feeling the love like you and i. we're married women. >> i know. we both enjoy it so much. apparently a lot of people don't think it would be a fun thing. they're saying, who needs a spouse? it turns out not many of us. according to the pew research center, over half of americans are married down from 70% in the 1960s turning out i do is fast becoming i don't ever. the question is, why? kim kardashian, married nor 72 day, certainly a sign of how our culture views marriage or is it? we could point to so many examples of how little marriage means. elizabeth taylor was married eight times. god rest her soul but why did she bother? some conservatives blame gay marriage and lament the fact the defense of marriage act was found unconstitutional. that act defined marriage as between a man and a woman. others say the feminist movement
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killed i do. who needs a man anyway when a woman can make her own money and bee her own sperm. others blame men who some say never much liked marriage anyway. maybe it's more simple than that. maybe in 2012, maybe we don't need to be married anymore. the talkback question today, is marriage becoming obsolete? facebook.com slash carolcnn. i'll read your responses in about 15, 20 minutes. >> your facebook page back up and running, no problems and filling up with lots of responses. thanks so much. sue it here on cnn, president barack obama thanking the american troops for their service in the iraq war. we go to baghdad and kuwait to see how soldiers and iraqis are feeling about how the mission has been accomplished. that's why i take colace. [ male announcer ] for occasional constipation associated with certain medical conditions
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president barack obama thanking the troops for their sacrifice as the war winds down at a speech in north carolina a few minutes ago. the president praised the troops for their patriotism acknowledged commitment and reflected back on the war almost nine years ago. >> we knew this day would come and known it for some time. still, there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long. >> let's find out what kind of reaction the president is getting. martin savage is in kuwait and arm mond
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damon in baghdad. what were people hoping the president might say? >> reporter: it was interesting, fredericka, i was over at the recreation tent, games and pool going on and chess and eating. there weren't really many soldiers paying attention at first. then they turned up the volume and more and more soldiers realized the president was speaking and realized the president was speaking about them and things sort of stopped and eyes began focusing on the screen and ears began listening to what was said. afterwards, i had an opportunity to ask a number of soldiers what did you think? it was clear they were impressed and moved by what the president had to say. they realize these soldiers are at a significant point in history. this is the drawdown and end of u.s. presence in iraq and they are a part of that. any soldier would tell you they like to see the end of a war better than the beginning of a war. they found the statements coming from the president and sincerity and the fact he was expressing gratefulness of a nation meant more to them than they first
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thought it would mean when they first started watching television. for the most part, they're focused on one thing, going home and for many, very soon. most we spoke to will be leaving in the next 24 hours. >> family members can't wait to see them when they arrive. >> carwa damon in baghdad, how are people measuring the accomplishments from this war? >> reporter: it's incredibly difficult for them because they cannot define it as being a success or failure. even though the u.s. is ending its military role, for the iraqis, this is a battle very much ongoing. just today for example four people were killed, 27 wounded when two car bombs went off in the marketplace. iraqis continue to live with this uncertainty even though the attacks have gone down and still don't know when they leave their home if they're ever going back.
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the beauty and manicured lawn, she say, is a glimpse of what she dreamed the american invasion would bring to iraq. instead, scars from shrapnel from insurgents and a bridge blown up a few years ago and one of saddam hussein's former palaces used as a military base in a notoriously dangerous neighborhood. >> when i came here, iraq was heaven. >> reporter: she says she's still happy the americans came but has 100 questions. why did the americans make so many mistakes? was it out of ignorance? was it deliberate? >> the americans are leaving iraq fragile. they haven't even planted the seeds to give us hope we're headed towards democracy, rule of law and a civil society. >> reporter: that woman you saw there lost her husband in an explosion back in 2007. just imagine this. she had to go to the morgue to
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identify his charred remains. there were a number of other bodies in the morgue at the same time, her husbands and them were all melted into a gruesome mess. the only way she could identify her husband was from a pin to his knee. for her, this war cannot be defined as a success or failure. she, like so many other iraqis, fredericka, they don't understand why they had to pay such a heavy price. what was their crime? why did they have to get involved? why did there have to be so much random ununderstandable violence in iraq? >> arwa damon, thanks so much from baghdad. back in this country, a federal board wants to out-law drivers from using cell phones all together, no texting or phone calls, a problem for a lot of drivers. ? actually, i know i shouldn't, just out of habit and i don't know why. i actually have the voice system on my phone. i don't know, i still do it? idiots that can't drive are the ones that are talking on the
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more than 3,000 people died in accidents caused by distracted drivers. now the national transportation safety board wants to ban phones from texting or talking. kr christina romans talked to the chair about it. >> i think when they're using the phone or texting, they don't think they're impaired. >> you're right. i know how difficult this is because i used to talk on my phone as well until i understood the dangers of it. two years ago, we put a ban on all our employees from talking or texting hand health or hands-free. when i hung up my phone and i stopped talking on the phone
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while i was driving, it was like becoming sober and seeing everyone around you was drinking. you notice the people who are distracted. they're not keeping up with traffic, not maintaining their speed, driving erratically and not holding their lane position. it is distracting. i think people recognize that but think do as i say, not as okay. they don't want other people doing it but they don't want to stop themselves. >> how distracting are we talking? how far does the car actually travel when you say, take your eyes off the road to send a text? cnn's tom foreman checked it out. >> researchers say people texting routinely take their eyes off the road for nearly five seconds. that's not to complete it, at a time. watch what happens. here we go, 25 miles an hour, right here, i started texting, i do it for 4.6 seconds. by the time i get on the brake, look where i wind up. >> that's incredible, right.
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many states already have laws in place banning different levels of cell phone use by drivers. carl has been looking into this. how is this new federal proposal likely to make a difference and how is it going over? >> it remains to be seen. part of this is it is not going very well. part of it is this is a hands-free headset and a lot of people use these and presumably allow you to keep both hands on the wheel. the ntsb says it's time to get rid of these as well. they want a total ban on han held phone use in all 50 states and far reaching from what we have now. >> it means each state adopting these recommendations or moving forward. this notice a federal mandate but federal recommendation. >> that's correct. the ntsb doesn't have the ability to force states to comply with this. in georgia, it will be an unpopular proposal.
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while drivers know they cannot text while drive, many people are used to talking on the phone either through the hands-free headset or from their ear and it's not something that will go over in some legislatures, at least those that want to get re-elected. >> there are some states that ban cell phone use all together? >> there is no state has a total ban on all cell phone use by all drivers. you see nine states, plus nevada is going to institute a hand-held cell phone ban next year. that's a total of ten states with a hand-held ban. in many place, they still allow the hands-free headset. as far as texting, 35 states currently ban texting while driving. the ntsb, you heard the chair woman mention a moment ago, one official says this is like the new dui, this distract eed drivg with cell phones. they're saying, it's time to hang up and drive and some people say, we can do this, cain still talk on my phone and drive
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safely and why you will see pushback. >> an issue of safety versus convenience. >> depending how you look at it, some people will say, i can handle it. >> thanks. >> appreciate it. you have a lot to say about this "talk back" issue, not about cell phones but marriage. is it becoming obsolete? i can't afford myself let alone anyone else. not obsolete but nowhere near the top right now. but did you know they're good for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium. and idaho potatoes are now certified to carry the heart checkmark from the american heart association for foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. so they're good for my family, and for yours. heart smart idaho potatoes. always look for the grown in idaho seal.
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time to check stories making news across the country right now. this is what can happen if you get distracted while driving. a miami police officer says he was picking up a pen when his cruise cruiser got stuck on wires and ended upright and he's okay. you heard about businesses giving way the story, right? this is a medical marijuana dispensary in organville, california. magnolia wellness is closing its doors friday and having a free pot party. not talking about dishes. jewelry worn by actress liz taylor, brought in pretty stun ing necklaces at action. this sold for $11.8 million, the highest recorded price ever of pearl jewelry sold at auction. part of the proceeds goes to
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elizabeth taylor aids foundation.
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you have been sounding off on today's talk back question, is marriage becoming obsolete. carol joins me from new york. what are they saying? >> big response to this question, is marriage becoming obsolete. >> maybe it's because monogamy is an unrealistic standard for
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the times we live. is it possible it's impossible to have just one partner. >> i dare to say that the divorce lawyers have killed the marriage institution. plus the earringness to get the heck out once they are in it and the least bit of trouble or disappointed. >> i have been married 43 years. and haven't regretted it. can't say we haven't fallen in and out love a few times. it's about working hard at a relationship. it anti-"leave it to beaver" folks. >> the inherent selfishness of our culture, about the ability to get outside of your own interests and put another person before yourself. >> thanks as always for your comments. >> thanks for bringing that to

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